The main topic of discussion among recent Denver Broncos rumors is the potential possibility that the front office will attempt to make an aggressive push to trade up in the upcoming NFL Draft in April. However, is this task realistically an achievable scenario for Broncos general manager George Paton? Or are these hopes falsely cast into discussion?
The Denver Broncos currently obtain six picks in the 2024 NFL Draft including their first round selection being 12th overall. As the team is widely expected to part ways with veteran quarterback Russell Wilson in the coming weeks, most mock drafts predict Denver to select a quarterback with their first round choice, whether that be Oregon's Bo Nix or Michigan's J.J. McCarthy. The two quarterbacks can be considered a "reach" in the middle of the first round meaning if Denver chooses to move in a different direction, they'll have to decide between a veteran starter or a potential day-two draft pick as their starting quarterback in 2024.
While there are certain options via free agency like Jimmy Garoppolo or Jacoby Brissett, NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline believes the Broncos will make a strong attempt to address their quarterback of the future in April. According to Pauline's sources at the Senior Bowl, head coach Sean Payton highly values the top three quarterbacks in the draft including Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels, and would be willing to include All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain ll in a trade package as a last resort to move up to the first overall pick.
To clarify, the Broncos do not want to move on from their star cornerback, however, push comes to shove, if it became the deal-breaker to acquire the first overall pick via a trade with Chicago, Denver would not flinch. The importance of acquiring your franchise quarterback in today's NFL is vastly more crucial than it has ever been and has been proved true time and time again. Take Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, C.J. Stroud, and many others for example. You can only win so many games without an elite quarterback in today's NFL and Sean Payton is very aware of that.
With that being said, not a single player on Denver's roster should be untouchable -- even Patrick Surtain ll. Having a superstar cornerback on your roster is very important, but nowhere near as important as obtaining a franchise quarterback like Drake Maye or Caleb Williams. While it certainly is unrealistic that one of Chicago, Washington, or New England would be willing to trade down multiple spots with Denver, you can never say never.
Potential trade package for the first overall pick:
Regardless if Chicago hangs up the phone on Denver's call, the Broncos are still going to try if Payton truly wishes to draft one of the top three ranked prospects. What could a potential trade package look like if Denver excludes Surtain ll? Bleacher Report recently predicted that the Chicago Bears could pry away the following return from Denver:
All things considered, this could be a home run trade for the Broncos, despite the common belief that Denver does not need to risk more future draft capital to fix the quarterback position. If anything, the team's quarterback of the future needs to remain Denver's main focus before they address the other holes on their roster. As we have witnessed some of the most successful NFL teams accomplish, addressing the quarterback position first and letting the other pieces fall into place has consistently proven to be a common recipe for success.
The Broncos should follow that path with a young quarterback to establish immediate progress rather than falling into regression with a tenured vet. Just because the Broncos front office has missed before on quarterback draft picks does not mean they need to stop swinging, especially with Sean Payton now in the building.